Harley-Davidson Shovelhead Low Rider

Harley-Davidson Shovelhead Low Rider

THIS IS ONE very clean example of a Harley-Davidson Shovelhead, an iconic model in many respects. The Shovel kept the H-D flag flying through some of the motor company’s darkest days. AMF had merged with the motorcycle giant in 1969, and due to some severe cost-cutting exercises and lack of quality control, more than once the factory came within hours of closing its doors and never producing another motorcycle! A legend would have been lost forever. 1981 saw the much publicised buy-back of the Motor Co by 13 of Harley-Davidson’s top executives. Three years later the Evolution motor was introduced, the Shovel engine was put out to pasture and the rest, as they say, is history. During its 18-year-run, the Shovel amassed many fans and today these bikes enjoy a solid base of devout owners who swear by these rugged old classics from days gone by. 

Which brings us to Fred’s bike.

Fred originally bought the 1980 Low Rider in fairly stock trim back in 1997 in Perth WA. The motor was rebuilt by Dick (Fred’s dad) and Dean Harrison. Although the original 1340 cc displacement was retained, this donk was in for thorough warming over. She now runs twin-plug heads, an Andrews B-grind cam, Jims pushrods and billet lifter blocks, a S&S bottom-end and oil pump, a Mikuni carb, and that very business-like two-into-one exhaust system.

A three-inch Primo belt-drive connects the motor to the original four-speed box which now runs Andrews internal gearing.

The custom guards, wrap-around oil tank, front scoop and the four-inch stretched custom tank are all adorned with the Freddy Krueger paint scheme. The metal-clawed dream-killer appears in several different incarnations over the entire bike.

A set of fat T-bars tops off the front-end, while adjustable shocks help iron out the bumps at the rear. 

A set of Performance Machine forward controls were added and Scorpion wheels top off the overall appearance of the bike with a matching rear sprocket.

The end result is a well presented machine which has a nice balance of old versus new customising trends. The stretched tank, paint work and custom wheels look quite at home on the original 1980 Shovelhead chassis and engine, etc.

Fred would like to extend a huge thanks to his father, Dick, for the help with the motor rebuild, and Sonny for the shit-hot looking airbrush work of Freddy on the bike.

Another big thank you has to go to our very lovely model. Heidi is a good friend of Fred’s and was more than happy to help out on the day of the shoot by posing for some shots with the bike. Heidi is looking to do some promo work in the future so keep your eyes open at this website.

Pics by Jo; words by Chuck U Farley

Author: Skol Wiggins

Biker-In-Charge

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